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Adaptive Cycling: Handcycles, Amputee Adaptation, Visual Impairment, and Other Needs Have a need for adaptive equipment to ride to compensate for a disability or loss of limb or function? This area is for discussion among those of us in the cycling world that are coming back from traumatic circumstances and tell the world, "No, you are not going to beat me down!"

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Old 01-04-13, 07:37 PM   #1
JohnDFW
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Looking for Custom Bicycle Handlebar Vendors or DIY ideas

Good evening,

I have asymmetrical shoulder alignment, so one arm is effectively longer than the other one by a quarter inch (?) or so. I'm a Clydesdale and I can get around 3 hours of riding in before my shoulder blade area muscles hurt on one side of my body. To help shore up the gap, I added some gel pads to one side of my drops in a couple of places, which seems to have made an improvement but the pain still makes itself known in the middle of my long rides. I look forward to hearing your ideas! Thanks in advance.

John in DFW, TX
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Old 01-05-13, 11:05 AM   #2
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What is it that you are looking to do? Are you wanting a custom made bar that has one side closer? Are you looking for something to "shore up" the distance from one side to the other?

Have you ever ridden a recumbent?
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Old 01-05-13, 02:02 PM   #3
JohnDFW
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What is it that you are looking to do? Are you wanting a custom made bar that has one side closer? Are you looking for something to "shore up" the distance from one side to the other?

Have you ever ridden a recumbent?
Hi punkncat,

I'd prefer to find an inexpensive solution, so I assume that would mean adding something to my existing handlebars. No, I haven't ridden a recumbent. I've ridden 1,500 miles in the last couple of years as is, just trying to improve my comfort.

John
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Old 01-07-13, 06:55 AM   #4
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This may sound simplistic, but a proper fitting focused on the shorter reach side will do a lot to quell the issue.

I believe the stress which surfaces is from the shorter side "reaching" for the bar.

Basically, a slightly shorter stem may be all is takes.

From your post is appears that you are ride all around on your bars. A second simple trick, especially if you like to ride on the hoods is to move the brake lever on the "shorter side" up on the arc of the bar a bit, and if needed move the longer side down a bit. The offset should be minimal both mechanically and visually based on your 1/4" differential.
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Old 05-10-13, 07:41 PM   #5
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100bikes, I was able to adjust my STI "brifters" up a bit on bar and it worked great! It took me a few tries but got it dialed in now on my road bike. No pain was felt on a 50+mile ride a few weeks ago.
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Old 07-14-13, 11:05 AM   #6
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This may sound simplistic, but a proper fitting focused on the shorter reach side will do a lot to quell the issue.

I believe the stress which surfaces is from the shorter side "reaching" for the bar.

Basically, a slightly shorter stem may be all is takes.

From your post is appears that you are ride all around on your bars. A second simple trick, especially if you like to ride on the hoods is to move the brake lever on the "shorter side" up on the arc of the bar a bit, and if needed move the longer side down a bit. The offset should be minimal both mechanically and visually based on your 1/4" differential.
Doh, great idea! What I've done is to ever slightly rotate my handlebars toward the side with the longer reach...it sounds counter-intuitive, but it prevents me from excessively weighting that side since it has greater "drop", and in turn causing my torso to twist. It also helps "even" things out while riding on the uprights or in the drops. Rather than accomodating the short side, I think this helps to reposition my shoulder by not allowing it to excessively drop.

John, since an off-kilter reach may twist your torso, be sure to pay attention to proper saddle alignment. My saddles inevitably rotate slightly toward my short reach side. I still need a proper bike fit, but in case you weren't aware, a shoulder issue can really misalign your entire body position.
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Old 05-14-14, 06:48 AM   #7
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Nice reply.
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